Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Have a Hang-Up

For the most part, I am not self-conscious about the way I look, despite how badly Facebook and its advertisers apparently wish that I were. No lie, I just opened the site, and today's warning is that my teeth need to be whiter than my wedding dress. Thanks guys.

However, I do have a slight hang-up about one physical aspect of myself that, curiously, Facebook has yet to threaten me about. I think I have really crappy posture, and I often have to remind myself to drag my slumping shoulders upright. I tend to think I look like these photos that earned Miley a bunch of criticism for her posture, although I also think I'm self-conscious enough that I'm probably overexaggerating it to myself:



Like, am I wrong, or are these really slouchy? Miley-esque? I think they are? Or maybe I've gotten neurotic beyond all sense about this? I mean, it's entirely possible.

Me in the blue, FYI.

Seriously, he is a COMPULSIVE photo-ruiner.

I know where my tendency for poor posture comes from. Mom Octopus fights a constant battle against having huge, painful muscle knots build up in her shoulders, and passed that struggle along to my sister and I. I have been known to make a masseuse or two exclaim, "wow, you really weren't kidding about those knots!" When I went to get a massage from my mom's regular person, she pronounced me "just as crunchy" as my mom. The knots make it tiring and painful to keep my shoulders upright, so I react to it by slouching, which then allows my muscles to weaken, which makes me even more prone to you see the cycle. Incidentally, my mom, my sister, and I are all pretty well-endowed, BOSOMS-wise, and I suspect that doesn't help. They're HEAVY, yo!

I don't want to look all hunch-y in my wedding photos. I don't want to look slumpy on my wedding day, period. Or at all, any day, really. I want to stop checking my reflection when I walk by storefronts to see if I'm slouching as much as I think I am. I want to look tall and proud and strong! More importantly, I want to feel better; I really want my shoulders to stop aching. So, I'm definitely trying to find the best solutions to my shoulder/back issues. Over a number of years, I have discovered two things that help a great deal with the muscle knots, and therefore, the posture:

1.) Exercise. Ugh. Wish it weren't true, but it is. Any kind of exercise helps, but muscle toning or lifting workouts that focus on stretching and building strength in my shoulders and back especially.
2.) Having a chiropractor do muscle work (sort of similar to sports massage). I saw a chiropractor in Las Vegas for two years who I will swear up and down was a miracle worker. The knots virtually disappeared in her care. However, the progress made in muscle treatments doesn't last forever if you stop, and a year in Boston without treatment (a year which included hunching over to take notes and write lengthy papers, and hauling around a super-heavy school bag) has brought me pretty far back in terms of my muscles' health.

I'm actively working on the exercise, and as soon as I get a job (which I'm hoping and praying will be this week, keep your fingers crossed for me) I'm taking my health benefits and RUNNING to the highly-rated chiropractor up the street. However, I'm open to any and all tips on eliminating the muscle knots, or straightening my posture up, or both.

Does anyone else struggle with shoulder and back strength, or muscle knots, or slouching? What do you do for it? Also, does your Facebook call you fat all the time? Seriously, what is that ABOUT? I actually AM going to fit into my wedding dress, and I'm going to look awesome in it. Shut up, Facebook.

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